Distillery Meles Augustin Normil

Country of Origin: Caribbean
Location: Pignon, Haïti
People: Boss Méles Augustín Normil, Owner & Distiller


Boss Méles Augustín Normil, originally a master craftsman specializing in metal working and engineering while building and maintaining cane presses (boss is the term for an artisan at the absolute pinnacle of their trade), began distilling on the side as a hobby. He now sells quite a bit of clairin on the local market, having become known for the local style Pignon is famous for which employs the use of vinasse, or dunder (for those of you familiar with the Jamaican technique). For the uninitiated, this is simply the leftover of the distillation process which is put into a vat/hole in the ground and saved to help start the next fermentation. Sugarcane syrup from nearby producers is blended with water and vinasse for fermentation in large open top vats. It is then distilled in a pot still and bottled by hand at full proof. It’s bold, funky, and makes an incredible daiquiri. The distillery and shop are in Pignon, a commune on the central plateau of Haiti.

Media Links
Chicago Tribune: How the Haitian Spirit Clairin is more like Mezcal than Rum
Liquor.com: Everything You Need to Know About Clairin, Haiti's Traditional Rum